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The Grip Weeds

Inner Grooves

(Ground Up; US: 19 Nov 2013; UK: 20 Jan 2014)

Back to the Future

The Grip Weeds have been around a few years now, and their latest release Inner Grooves is an odds-and-sods compilation that shows just how adept they are at their retro-rock, ’60s-psychedelic sound. With jangly guitars, smooth harmony vocals and trippy lyrics, the band mine a well-worn vein, but do so with panache and verve matched by few other bands.


That said, this collection will probably be of interest only to listeners already familiar with the band. There are alternate takes of old tunes like “Love’s Lost on You” and “Sight Unseen” and “Every Minute” – this last an acoustic version that still manages to work up a nice head of steam. The single version of “We’re Not Getting Through” is close enough to the album version that casual listeners may be left wondering what, exactly, is different. No matter: there are plenty of other strong tracks here, like the jangly pop crunch of “Nothing Lasts” and the bouncy “It’ll Never Be Me”. By far the standout, though, is the 11-minute-plus instrumental closer “Sun Ra Ga”, a trippy, noodling guitar-effects fest that’s tailor made for spacing out, with or without chemical assistance. That’s one of the great things about the Grip Weeds: at their best, they can make you feel like you’re stoned, even if you’re not.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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